This week was all about fashion tech disruptions and game-changers. Here are the highlights:

  1. The H&M cautionary tale: innovate or fade away. Changes in consumer behavior are heavily impacting H&M’s sales strategy. The second-largest fast-fashion retailer has decided to close down a surprisingly high number of physical stores – the highest in decades – to focus more on their online sales. As the company has seen an increase in online shopping, they are realizing the need to adapt their store and retail infrastructure to the new reality: more consumers are abandoning brick-and-mortar in favor of online shopping. “At the heart of the transformation is digitalization, and it is driving the need to transform and rethink faster and faster,” stated CEO Karl-Johan Persson. More on H&M’s strategy shift here: H&M Is Closing the Most Stores in Two Decades.
  2. By 2022, retailer spending on AI will reach $7.3 billion per annum. According to a Juniper research study titled: AI in Retail: Disruption, Analysis and Opportunities: 2018-2022, retailers are looking to invest heavily in AI tools that allow them to offer a more personalized and much-improved customer experience. An example would be chatbots that offer instant customer service. This study comes as a reinforcement to a trend that we’ve already seen unraveling and mentioned in 2018 fashion tech predictions.
  3. Technology will change the business of fashion. And here are just a few examples of how technology can be employed to improve various aspects of a fashion business. Conclusion: While small businesses need to be abreast of how to keep harnessing technology, they also need to keep in mind that customers are only interested the benefits it brings them.
  4. The demand for smart fabrics is rapidly growing. As the new report Fabrics Manufacturing Market Global Briefing 2018 explains, the growing use of smart fabrics in various industries, including fashion, healthcare, sports and the military is driving this demand. If you’re a fashion strategist, marketer or executive, this report may prove quite enlightening.
  5. Game changers at the Munich Fabric Start trade show. Meanwhile, the Munich Fabric Start 2018 gave textile traditionalists a taste of the future. FashionNerd reports directly from the scene some of the most intriguing fashion game-changers involving smart fabrics and digital fashion boards. Be sure to check them out!

And that’s a wrap. Stay tuned for next week’s key fashion tech tid bits.

Xoxo,

Emma

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